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ZOZOFIT: Social Networking Drives Long-Term Engagement for Fitness Subscriptions


As fitness subscriptions look to drive retention and build long-lasting customer relationships, ZOZOFIT is finding that including elements of social networking goes a long way toward boosting engagement over time.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Madeleine Kanazawa, vice president of marketing at ZOZO USA, the company behind the recently-launched ZOZOFIT 2.0 subscription program offering body-scanning capabilities and insights, said key to the brand’s retention efforts is the community accountability component.

“The big thing for us is going to be building the community,” Kanazawa said. “[We’re] finding the people that are using [the subscription have] already started creating their own private groups, but we’re really opening it up to more groups that will bring everyone in, and they can have those conversations and discuss, and then we can provide as many insights as possible as well.”

This finding makes sense, given that consumers’ digital engagement in social media outpaces their digital engagement when it comes to their health, according to the PYMNTS Intelligence “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Urban-Rural Health Divide Edition,” which drew from a census-balanced survey of nearly 2,500 U.S. consumers.

The results reveal that 65% of consumers living in urban areas participated in digital activities related to communication, as did 35% of suburban consumers and 29% of those in rural locations. Meanwhile, a moderately lower 60% of urban consumers engaged digitally to get their wellness needs met, while only 29% of suburban consumers and 19% of those in rural areas did the same.

ZOZOFIT, for its part, began as a wearables company, but on finding greater demand for a smartphone app scanner, switched from a hardware one-time sales model to a software subscription — a change that has made the service feel more accessible to many.

“We noticed that people were more amenable to the subscription model than the one-time payment, because they felt like it’s less of a commitment,” Kanazawa said. “They can think of it in terms of their [own] time period.”

Certainly, the subscription opportunity is sizable. According to data featured in PYMNTS Intelligence’s Subscription Commerce Tracker, consumers across generations shell out $278 per month on subscription services, and that share rises to $377 for Generation Z.

Granted, demand remains for wearables. “The Evolving Daily Digital Edition” of the “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report,” which drew from a survey of more than 4,000 U.S. consumers, found that 30% of Gen Z respondents use wearable technology that gathers health information on a daily basis, and 27% of millennials do the same.

ZOZOFIT’s community-focused approach to fitness subscriptions underscores the influence of social networking in driving long-term engagement and retention. Capitalizing on consumers’ existing digital engagement when it comes to how they connect with one another, fitness subscriptions have the opportunity to drive usage.

Furthermore, the brand’s transition from a hardware-centric to a software subscription model reflects a strategic response to evolving consumer preferences, demonstrating adaptability in the dynamic fitness market.

“Opening up the subscription … opened up access, … and that’s really the biggest thing for us,” Kanazawa said. “We’re getting a lot of feedback that people can now truly use ZOZOFIT anywhere. So, that’s the most exciting.”